Zimbabwe’s startup scene has in the last few years really taken quite the swing. We’ve seen some interesting stuff on this turf and will possibly see much more in the near future. We take a look at Zimbabwe’s Startup Ecosystem, how far it has come and how far it can go.
What is a startup ecosystem?
A startup ecosystem is composed of entrepreneurs and their companies (called startups) and well as support entities which include large corporates, non-governmental organizations, universities, research institutes, funding organizations, incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces etc. All these elements interact through various organized events such as pitches, competitions and direct contact so as to build startup businesses. A startup ecosystem has a huge bearing on the success of startup companies and their entrepreneurs. A healthy ecosystem like that of Silicon Valley in the United States creates an environment which makes startup more and more likely to succeed.
One of the most important features of a healthy startup ecosystem is its hubs, incubators, and co-working spaces. Let’s take a look at Zimbabwe’s hubs, incubators, and co-working spaces
Zimbabwe’s hubs, incubators, and co-working spaces
Physical locations make up a critical part of a healthy ecosystem. Entrepreneurs need to collaborate, they need space and inspiration. Hubs, incubators and co-working spaces provide the ultimate combination of interaction, space, and creative inspiration.
Check out some of the major hubs, incubators and co-working spaces in Zimbabwe (NB. list is not exhaustive and will be updated accordingly)
Impact Hub Harare is part of a global network of ‘Impact Hubs’ in different cities around the world. The hub brings together local innovators through events, an innovation lab, and business incubator. Impact Hub offers credibility and a proven track record of startup acceleration and nurturing entrepreneurs. The hub has support from Dandemutande and hosts a number of notable events including Seedstars Harare.
Located in Harare, Stimulus Hub is a business incubator that provides business coaching and networking for entrepreneurs. Last year Stimulus hosted the week-long Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Zimbabwe. Stimulus Hub also holds hackathons and a host of other tech startup events.
B2C (Batanai to Create), Harare
B2C is probably one of the country’s most buzzing co-working and incubator spaces. Located right in the Harare CBD, B2C is easily accessible and has great facilities and working space. B2C has a co-working area and some private offices to rent as well. The space hosts quite a number of events that would be of interest to tech startups.
Moto Republik, Harare
Moto Republik is a haven for the creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs looking for some working and office space. Curated by Magamba Network, the hub is an iconic space known for activism, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Lookout for the Harare WordPress Meetups held every last Wednesday of the month at Moto Republik.
GBI Business Hub, Harare
Well, we used to work from GBI Concept Space and we loved the atmosphere. GBI has a good mix of startups and entrepreneurs. Some of the notable events held here include Diaspora Insights.
Cyrex Business Hub, Harare
Recently opened at Joina City Mall in Harare, Cyrex is more of an exclusive hub with a co-working space, shared cubicles and a few private offices. The place is complete with some conference rooms and PA services (which you have to pay for at least). If pricing is not much of an issue then this is definitely the place to work from. The facilities are really great and there is a nice aerial view of Harare as well.
Incubation Pod, Harare
Free WiFi and Free coffee is definitely something worth looking forward to every other Friday. The Steward Bank Incubation Pod is open to entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs every Friday for financial advice, business talks, motivational talks, and networking. If you are looking for conventional business mentoring then this is the place to be every Friday.
Tech Village, Bulawayo
If you are in Bulawayo and are a Tech Innovator or Tech Startup then Tech Village is definitely a place you might want to visit and possibly stay. Tech Village boasts of a band of tech startups from the southern part of Zimbabwe. It is definitely a force to reckon with on the Zimbabwean incubators and co-working spaces list. The tech hub was founded by Takunda Chingonzo.
Startup Grind, Harare
Another global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs. Startup Grind is powered by Google. The community hosts events that usually bring intense and advanced insights into entrepreneurship and business incubation.